Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Choosing life even in difficult circumstances

Oct. 30, 2019

By Eileen Greenwood
Contributing writer

From conception to death, life must be respected and protected. God is our Creator and as such, our lives are a gift from Him and should only be ended by Him. This month we celebrate Respect Life to raise awareness of the need to protect it. In this time of frightening lack of respect for babes in the womb, and terminally ill and elderly people, it is more important than ever that we speak honestly and share God’s right to choose when to end a life, not ours.

I could tell you a story for each of the five children I have been blessed and honored to give life to as a mother.

I could tell you the details of each of their labors, and deliveries, and complications we went through along the way.

Each of our five children came into the world with a unique challenge during either their growth in my womb, or their delivery or their birth. Yet every single challenge was forgotten the second we laid eyes on that child.

Every anxiety and fear we faced was evaporated when the babe was laid in my arms. Each tiny little hand that grasped mine, each set of eyes that blinked and sought my face, each warm little bundle in my arm was such an incredible gift from God.

For each one of our children I was asked to take a test to determine what, if any, birth defects our child had. For each one of our children, I declined to take the test. Fortunately, the doctor I had was Catholic and understood that even faced with a severe defect, I would not have terminated my pregnancy.

How many young women, especially young teens, are strong enough to say, “I will carry this child no matter the outcome?” How many babies are aborted due to inadequate support to a young mother, and tests that may at times be inaccurate?

I had a recent conversation with a newly expecting mom. She told me the doctor asked if she would take the test to determine whether her baby had Down Syndrome. She refused, saying she could never have terminated this baby, and she didn’t want to worry her whole pregnancy if tests showed a concern. I reaffirmed that her decision was in fact, very much in line with what God asks us to do, to respect all life from conception.

Several years ago, a very dear friend of mine was pregnant with twins. During the course of her pregnancy, her joyful news turned into a fight for her baby’s life and her own. One of the babies died in the womb, and she had to make a decision that was incredibly difficult.

She and her husband, who had two children at the time, would be very affected by what she chose. She was told that she was in the midst of a molar pregnancy, and she needed to terminate her pregnancy, or she could die. A molar pregnancy is a tumor that develops in the womb and can lead to cancer and death if untreated.

The choice she needed to make was end the pregnancy and be assured of her own life, or continue the pregnancy and possibly die, leaving her husband a widow with perhaps three children.

I remember how we prayed, and we talked in depth of the seriousness of this situation. I also remember wondering if I could have been as brave as she was, and I could only hope I would have been.

From the very beginning, she spoke only of saving the child, and if God called her home then so be it. As her friend, it was so hard to hear that, but I was in agreement with her. She was placed on bed rest and continued her pregnancy, choosing to give it all to God. Many, many people prayed for her and her child during that time.

Thankfully, her story had a wonderfully happy ending, and both her and her son came through just fine, with no cancer at all.

In an unexpected twist, she shared that her son helped her through the grief of losing her Mother, who died just a few days after her son was born. It was something only a loving God could have seen and provided to her.
The choice my friend made to respect the life of her baby, was a choice that not all would have made.

We remain close in our friendship and it gives me great joy when I see her young son, who is now a happy, healthy teenager who has a gift for making others laugh. It makes me wonder, how many souls did not have a chance to come into this world to laugh and to make others laugh.

It makes me want to raise my voice and to tell the world: Choose Life! Choose to honor and trust God! Choose to let life be all it is created to be, for sometimes, it is a miracle.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.